Co-design Research Group

The Co-Design research group at the IT University of Copenhagen is a recognized research environment in the area of Co-Design and Participatory Design. Our core group members originate from research environments pioneering Scandinavian Participatory Design and Co-Design, and each have 15+ years experience in conducting, researching and teaching Co-Design and Participatory Design in Scandinavia, Europe and beyond. 

Co-Design is a design approach, where people affected by the design and solution are actively involved in the process of creating it. For us, Co-Design needs to be responsible and fostering open-minded and respectful engagement with people and their lives. We critically explore the possibilities offered by digital technology through prototyping solutions in collaboration with users.

Through our work, we develop appropriate methods and tools and apply them in a broad range of areas, including public sector, healthcare and urban development. Project outcomes include community services and technologies, rehabilitation support systems and collaborative platforms, but also design guidelines and support for co-design activities. We have substantial experience from teaching Co-Design, in studio settings as well as large classes. We are interested in a broad range of collaborations with other universities, companies and the public sector.


Jörn Christiansson (previously Messeter)

Associate Professor

Thomas Binder

Full Professor

Camilla Christensen

Ph.D. Student

Erik Grönvall

Associate Professor
Head of Group

Kamila Anna Dzierzak

Ph.D. Student


Alicia Smedberg


Joanna Saad-Sulonen

Associate Professor

Helena Karasti

Full Professor

Nils Ehrenberg

Visiting PhD student

Clémentine Schelings

Visiting Post-Doc 

Tobias Pedersen

Research assistant

Maria Foverskov, Post-Doc

Anne Rørbæk Olesen, Post-Doc

Current activities

CAPE – Civic Agency in Public E-service innovation
On October 1, 2020, we launched a new 3-year research project financed by NordForsk: CAPE – Civic Agency in Public E-service innovation. The project explores new forms for co-design and innovation of public e-services by developing and implementing Civic Innovation Centres, hosted by public libraries in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The project consortium is coordinated by ITU with Jörn Christiansson as PI, and partners include Aalborg University Copenhagen and Ballerup Library in Denmark; Malmö University and Malmö City Library in Sweden; and Aalto University and Helsinki City library in Finland. More information here.

Learning and Innovation Labs
Starting in 2021, we have worked with different Swedish municipalities to explore what municipal innovation labs can be through implementing a number of labs. The labs are co-design driven and explore topics important for each municipality and their citizens. 

MusicalAid is a tangible system allowing people with different musical literacy and gross/fine motoric skills to play and create music together. The system was originally Co-designed with adults on the autistic spectrum but enables a fun music experience for all, including older adults or simply someone who just like to jam.

PYCIPEDIA is a web-based collaborative tool for social workers that support intellectually disabled parents in taking care of their small children. The web-based collaborative tool PYCIPEDIA has been Co-designed with social workers and is currently being used in 2 Swedish municipalities (since Oct 2019).